Linux watchdogs in 2019


Nelson's log

My home server is dying unexplainedly. Totally locks solid, nothing in the logs, very confusing. While I figure out what’s wrong (power supply?) I decided to go implement a watchdog to reboot the system if it fails.

This turns out to be hard in 2019, with Ubuntu 19. tl;dr there are two choices: systemd or the good ol watchdog daemon. See also: softdog.

systemd has watchdog support. Unlike many things in the systemd hydra, this one makes sense to me to integrate. It’s configured in /etc/systemd/system.conf. However it’s not well documented and relatively limited, so I decided not to use it. Even so my system has a PID 77 named [watchdogd] that I think is part of systemd. No idea what it’s doing, if anything.

watchdog is the old school Linux daemon that does watchdoggy things. Ubuntu 19 offers version 5.15-2, and if you install it by default it…

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